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Powder Burn Flash has posted one of my newest Collins pieces. Collins is an unfortunate thug who has to deal with the likes of CharleneBopa, and Whatnot

Soliloquy and Whatnot

I tell you what, he intoned in his nasally accent acquired from too many broken noses, there is no way, I mean, I like those fellas just fine. Just fine. Both of ‘em stand up guys as far as I’m concerned, but I tell you, they don’t have a cup of sense to sip on. Neither one of ‘em. You hearing me? Look, look, I’m telling you they’re like cats who wander into a kennel of Rots and have no damn idea they’re about to get their heads ripped off even when the dogs are slobbering mad with fangs and muscle and whatnot.

I don’t know where he picked up that word, whatnot, but he used it so often I was about crazy. I told him if he ever said it in my company again I’d bust his lip. Of course, he quickly figured out to say it only at times I couldn’t respond, like right now while eating my Swedish meatballs at my favorite restaurant. Reece was an ass that way.

It was about that moment I saw his right eye explode out of his head, splattering my meatballs with a tsunami of blood and gray matter. Reece’s mouth hung open, like a man in some soliloquy (I learned that word from my ex who used it just to remind me what a messed up idea I had thinking I could ever be with a girl like her) and suddenly forgot what he was going to say. I suppose he did forget what he was going to say since, I would guess, a bullet ripping through your skull-bone would generally have that effect. But I swear he was going to finish his thought before falling forward into his plate, snapping his nose into two places once more.

I imagine the coroner opening him up, recreating the timeline, the 44 bullet travelling at this angle telling us the shooter was yeh tall and how the bullet ricocheted off his skull just enough to save his friend’s life.

But I couldn’t imagine anything at the moment. I was too busy saying, what the fuck?

I sat there like a cat in front of a Rot watching everyone dive under tables, pulling their beautiful pasta dishes on top of their heads. I watched the bartender disappear behind the oak bar. I saw people scurrying into the back hall and I saw the boy holding the too big gun in his shaking hand. He looked oddly familiar but I couldn’t place where. Sweat fell from his forehead. His brown eyes had a look that reminded me of something very serious, but everyone laughed anyway. His red flannel shirt hung loosely off his slight frame. He sported a thick head of brown hair, jeans, and the way he was shaking this was the first time he ever took a human life.

What the hell did Reece do to make this kid want to make him a pirate in the afterlife?

So I sat there looking at the kid, and the kid stared at me, and then he turned and ran out. I was pissed. Reece always left me in these kinds of situations. Now I’d have to talk to the cops. I’d have to deal with their questions and sidelong glances. I’d have to hope it was McClain first on the scene and not that hardass, Nevin.

I’d have to order some more damn meatballs and whatnot.


2009. Published in The Flash Fiction Offensive

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